Once a lawsuit is filed, parties generally have three options: proceed to trial, negotiate a settlement, or pursue some type of ADR (alternative dispute resolution).
It is widely acknowledged that mediation, one type of ADR, allows for a more creative, satisfying, and less expensive resolution of a dispute than trial. However, settlements are more likely to be achieved when the mediator can offer an incisive view of each party’s strengths and weaknesses on the alternative litigation track.
After more than twenty-six years both trying and settling case, I am a believer in mediation. It is a proven and dynamic process for settling disputes. I bring to the table the ability to evaluate from a judicial perspective, but always strive to ensure that this is only one component of a healthy dynamic. Mediation is a process, not a forum for edicts. Discussion is necessary. Trading offers is a must. Patience is required. The process works because the parties retain control over the ultimate decision. At the end of the day, the parties should leave the conference room feeling satisfied, empowered, and able to move forward.